Federal Oversight of Commercial Nuclear Power
In 2012, U.S. commercial nuclear power plants generated about 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses these plants and regulates and oversees their safe operation and security.
NRC faces a number of new and ongoing challenges in fulfilling its mission, including:
- Addressing concerns about the safety of U.S. nuclear power plants and the adequacy of its processes and regulations in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster.
- Licensing new nuclear power plants for the first time in decades and reviewing advanced reactor designs.
- Deciding whether to renew the operating licenses of existing nuclear power plants while continuing to provide effective oversight of those plants as they age.
Figure 1: NRC Regions and Operating Nuclear Power Plants in the United States